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non spawning walleyes

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Here's one I've had on my mind for a bit:

I've heard people claim that the natural reproduction cycle of walleyes in many of the metro area lakes is non existent. If that's the case, will these non spawning walleyes follow that same patterns as if they were "spawners"? Do they just go through the motions and hang out where they "should" be, but just not complete the spawning ritual?? Or, are the non spawners hanging out in non traditional early season locations since their instinctual urges don't perhaps exist??

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Good question. I know that smallies in rivers are often denied good spawning conditions--high water, low water, cold water, etc.--and in that case they behave differently and in some cases just reabsorb the eggs, in others they'll just wait for good conditions and spawn later. I'd guess that the spawning instinct is strong so the fish will find likely habitat and do their best, and that the lack of natural reproduction in lakes is due to the lake's conditions, not the behavior of the fish.


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They will spawn in the best place they can find. The egg hatch rate is greatly reduced because the conditions aren't right. It takes a lot of eyes/walleye fry to get to one 12" walleye because of natural predation etc so anything that reduces the hatch rate results in non-reproducing water.

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ok, so maybe I misunderstood the concept.

The natural spawning activity is alive and kicking in these lakes, but the actual success rate or reproduction is very low. That makes sense..

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That's what the DNR guy told me regarding Minnetonka and it makes sense. If I remember it right walleye eggs need a lot of oxygen and tumbling around - it's why they spawn on gravel or rock in rivers and lakes. Just not enough of the right areas in Metro lakes for walleyes to be self sustaining. Try to think of any metro lake whose shallow water isn't covered with weeds or that has expansive weedfree midlake rock humps.

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Mark hit the nail on the head. A good majority of metro lakes don't have adequate spawing areas. The Walleye's in these lakes will still try to spawn, look for feeder creeks or any shallow moving water. Ebass, some of Ebass' friends, and I watched the Walleye's make a spawning run last spring in a metro feeder creek. I found them again this year, but they were much further upstream than last year.

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MedMan, we were wondering if you checked them out this year. Glad to know they are trying and that does seem like a good area. You must've told the DNR right? They are reproducing, right? Or just going through the motions?

Can a walleye spawn successful in a lake or must it be in a feeder creek. I'm thinking of Mille Lacs since it's a walleye factory. I know there are a lot of feeder creeks that run into Mille Lacs, but can they spawn on a rocky shoreline? Just wondering, this is interesting since I have witnessed them doing the deed before. OK maybe not doing the deed, but making a run up stream in schools.

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mille lacs has enough wave/current movement that walleyes will spawn on many of the shallow gravel piles around shore. big lake + lots of water movement + some nice feeder creeks = lots of walleye.

we have run into males in one area of the lake more then once on opener that are.... ahh.... very ready to go when you get them in the boat... or all over everything in the boat... and those were all main lakers.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • CigarGuy
      Nice job Bob! Fishing off the neighbors dock sucked for us. My gang is coming up Thursday night till Monday, this will be our opener, we'll hit it hard. It's a bummer my dock is mostly under water and the lift isn't in. Thanks to the neighbor around the corner for letting us park on shore at there place next weekend.
    • SkunkedAgain
      Well, I chose my screen name for a reason. 😆 Congrats to everyone
    • Bbobber
      I had a great weekend the weather was decent and fishing was good. I caught 5 walleyes 21"-25", 4 northerns largest was 32" and a 17 largemouth opening day. 2 more walleyes, 2 crappies 2 northerns on Sunday all on jig and minnows.
    • DLD24
      We had a good opener as well we could have kept limits opening day, but just kept enough for a fish fry. Then Sunday had our little friendly tourney and everyone had a pretty good day. Pulling cranks and jigs n minnows caught fish.  
    • Kettle
      Water temp today 45-50. Few fish, windy and cold 
    • Tominator692
      Had a great opening weekend. Son and I boated 51 walleye between Saturday and Sunday. Plenty of small stuff but no problem getting some nice keepers. This is a pic of the best weekend fish for us. 
    • fishingstar
      I was on Rice this weekend also. Seen boat lifts with water up to the canopy. I was the only one to catch a fish out of the hole campground It was about a 6" crappie.
    • BWpineisland
      We had a pretty good weekend. There were two couples and we limited out both Saturday and Sunday. The eyes we kept were all 15-17”.  We caught many 10-14” eyes and one 26” which was returned to the water immediately. All on a variety of jigs in 18-35’ of water. As usual the women out fished both of us😀
    • Bloatlord
      Wrong area, sorry.
    • Raven77
      I will second the advice on watching out for floating debris.  We saw a lot of floating logs and deck sections this weekend.  Also, most hazard and navigation buoys were not out yet.  I wonder how many lower units and props were destroyed this weekend?  It would be dicey if you don't know the lake.
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